Rebecca Ann Epstein, known more widely as RAE, is an artist from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She was born into a family with a background of music so it was destined for her to be musically inclined. With an amazing voice, outstanding talent, an insane work ethic and determination thus far, she has achieved major success. At fifteen, RAE performed at local bars in her hometown where she grew a large fan base quickly. After high school, Rae auditioned and was selected to be a part of the College of Music at Florida State University for Vocal Performance in 2012. Due to her charisma and passion to give back, she was nominated for Miss Tallahassee in 2013. The following summer, RAE worked for Engine Room Audio in New York City for months where artists such as Trey Songs, Uncle Kracker, 50 Cent, and other various notable artists recorded gold and platinum albums. While working in New York, she honed her craft within the means of writing music, singing, recording in a studio and performing. Upon graduating college, RAE has written over 65 songs in 2017 and has over 400 completed songs total. She is definitely an artist to look out for in 2018 where she will drop her new EP called, “The Awakening.”
When did you decide to gather the courage to move from Florida to Los Angeles to pursue your music dream?
You know, it was really wild how it all happened. I was visiting my best friend in San Francisco last May and was about to fly to Vegas to do a show. The night before, my manager back in Florida called me and told me the show got cancelled. After getting a little disappointed about it, I bought a $12 bus ticket down to LA and see if I could make some connections. Little did I know, that trip would be the one that changed my entire life. I met some pretty big dudes that are high up in the industry and things really started moving. I was getting into sessions with Grammy Award winning producers, learning how to write better songs, and all around pretty much just started making a lot better music. Then, started getting flown back and forth from Miami to LA and in August, I decided the only way I was going back home was if I had something to show for it. It was a pretty bold decision, but I made it work. It was hard, very difficult given that I made the move out here with a suitcase and a couple pairs of shoes. But, I met some really amazing humans along the way and it all started to work out.
What’s been the hardest adjustment moving cross country?
I think the hardest part about all of this was the fact of the type of people that live in this city. It was hard to determine at first the frauds from the elite. Slowly (but surely) you start to detect the snakes in the grass, the liars, bullshitters, and the thieves. But shit, sometimes I still can’t figure it out. I actually was in a funk from it all and wrote a song called, “Fake it” back in October to try to understand it a little more. But now that I have a close knit group of people I trust in this town, it’s pretty much the most amazing place ever.
What does an average day in the life of RAE look like? Walk us through it.
Just recently, I moved into a house in LA with three of the most talented, hard working people I know. All three of those dudes make some of the best music I have ever heard. We all collaborate feeding off of each others ideas and energy. So typically, an average day would be us actually just making music pretty much every second of the day to some capacity (or I am in a meeting with a producer, investor, or another artist). I know- it’s insane. We’re all a little mad here (laughs), but we really inspire each other, or at the very least, they inspire me. Like for example, the other morning, I must have fallen asleep around 5am from making melodies and writing lyrics. At around 9am I heard Nick wide awake making a beat. I got up and starting working more. It’s ripple effect, and I am happy to be on this musical wave of my life with them.
Have you put a certain amount of pressure on yourself to succeed?
Oh yes. I put an immense amount of pressure on myself. I think that’s one of the biggest things that contributes to growth. I try not to let it drive me crazy though. I enjoy every moment of my life, but by pressuring myself to succeed, I work harder than most. Will Smith recently told an analogy of a bunch of people on a treadmill. He said, “I’ll either be the last person on that treadmill, or I will die on that treadmill.” Work ethic like that is what I aspire to have in my craft.
Who has inspired your sound, and how has it evolved?
My sound has been cultivated from a lot of my favorite artists over the years like Amy Winehouse, Sam Smith, Coldplay, John Mayer, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Flume, and Sia. Just to name a few. I respect these artists on a multitude of levels from their writing to their style to their voices. My sound really evolved this year though. I am going with a lot more of a darker sound this year. We added in some 808s, minor keys, and I switched up my cadences a lot. Super different than what people would expect from me, which is why I think it’s even funnier.
Being the Sound To Seek, means you’re an up and comer to look out for. What is the best platform for people to access your music?
Starting February 17th, all my music will be able to be accessed on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Vevo, and Tidal.
What can we expect from you this year?
Oh man, this year is a big one in my world. Releases, LOTS of releases including singles and an EP. I spent the entire year of 2017 making so much music that I got to really design the vision of how I wanted to drop them to the public for this year. I already wrapped my first music video, “Make Us Great Again” that will be out in February.